Professor Robert A. Harris
Professor Robert A. Harris (Bob) was born in Harpenden in Southern UK in 1966. He conducted a Bsc.Hons undergraduate degree at Portsmouth Polytechnic, majoring in Parasitology in 1987. PhD studies at University College London studying innate immune agglutinins in Schistosoma host snail species with Terry Preston and Vaughan Southgate as supervisors culminated with a thesis defence in early 1991. A 2.5 year postdoc at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in Paul Kaye’s research group ensued, with focus on understanding the intracellular fate of Leishmania spp. protozoans in macrophages. Bob was awarded a Wellcome Trust postdoctoral fellowship that permitted his relocation to the Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden) in the spring of 1994. A postdoc period was spent split between the labs of Anders Örn and Tomas Olsson, in which he studied Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma bruceii protozoan proteins. Bob became an Associate Professor at the Karolinska Institutet in 1999, heralding his establishment as a PI. Bob started to work with autoimmune diseases in 1996 and began study of therapy using live parasite infections or parasite molecules. His research group has developed autoantigen-specific vaccines, defined the effects of post-translational biochemical molecules on autoantigenicity and developed a macrophage adoptive transfer therapy that prevents pathogenesis in several experimental disease models. He became Professor of Immunotherapy in Neurological Diseases in 2013. In recent years research focus has centred on understanding the immunopathogenesis of incurable neurodegenerative diseases, with particular emphasis on development of immunotherapies directed at microglial cells as potential therapeutic paradigms.
Bob Harris CV July 2020
ERIK HERLENIUS GROUP
Development of autonomic control
Immature or deficient autonomic control is a common problem in infants born at a premature age and is of central importance in apneas, secondary hypoxic brain damage and sudden infant death syndrome.
PER ERIKSSON GROUP
For better understanding of disturbances in respiratory control we study early development of cardiorespiratory control, brainstem neural networks and its associations with normal and pathological breathing. The conceptual change introduced by our recent data that endogenous prostaglandins are central pathogenic factors in respiratory disorders and the hypoxic response, open new diagnostic and therapeutic avenues that should significantly better the diagnostics and treatment of newborns and adult patients.
Inflammation is a major culprit in breathing disorders and we hypothesize that by using a newly developed urinary prostaglandin biomarker we can screen, detect and protect against inflammation related breathing disorders.
Our collaborative efforts enable us to move from a clinical problem to molecular understanding of the disease and studies are performed in patients, animal & in vitro models.
Our research is focused on the development of autonomic control with normal and paediatric patients as the target. Autonomic dysfunction in breathing and circulatory control often has its origin in neurodevelopment disorders. Furthermore, our basic research in developmental neuroscience how neural activity and stem cells form activity dependent networks is vital for the development of therapeutic interventions.
CENTER FOR MOLECULAR MEDICINE
Molecular dysregulation in mood disorder, psychosis and ADHD
CATHARINA LAVEBRATT TEAM
Using clinical and population-based naturalistic cohorts and a model of depression-like behavior, we study molecular dysregulation in mood disorder, psychosis and ADHD. Our studies will focus on the interlinked processes inflammation, metabolic stress, mitochondrial activity and telomere regulation. We investigate mechanisms and markers of disease and treatment effects though genetic, epigenetic and biochemical analyses. This is performed primarily, but not exclusively, in candidate gene networks. We collaborate within large international consortia for genome-wide genetic association studies.
Catharina Lavebratt is Associate Professor of Medical Genetics at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet and leads the research group Neurogenetics, together with Professor Martin Schalling, located in Center for Molecular Medicine at the Karolinska University Hospital, Solna. Her research interest is to understand molecular mechanisms behind psychiatric disorders thus enabling better diagnosis, prevention and more individualized treatment. She is the head of a randomized clinical trial (RCT) in ADHD focusing on the gut microbiota. She is responsible for the molecular workpackages in four clinical or naturalistic population-based studies of mood disorder or anxiety (www.REGASSA.se, www.kupolstudien.se, PART) and psychosis (FitForLife), two being RCTs, as well as collaborates with clinically active psychiatrists and psychologists having medium to large size clinical cohorts, primarily of patients with bipolar disorder or psychosis. She is using a model of depression-like behavior to enable studies in brain tissue in collaboration with preclinical researchers. Catharina has been the main supervisor of 7 PhD students now graduated, most of which have embarked on a research career, and she has authored 107 international peer-reviewed articles, being first or senior author on 59% of those. The research group, for which the leadership shared with Martin Schalling, has 20 members including affiliated clinical scientists. She currently supervises 5 PhD students and 2 postdoctoral scientists. The KI External Research Evaluation (ERA) evaluated the Neurogenetics group as Outstanding 2011.
Catharina Lavebratt is Director of postgraduate studies at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery.
Catharina, with a MSc degree in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, received her PhD degree in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from KTH in 1996. She was a Swedish Research Council Medicine-postdoctoral fellow at McGill University, Canada, and thereafter a Swedish Research Council Medicine-Junior researcher (Forskarassistent) at Karolinska Institutet until 2006, and has since then a senior researcher position at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet. She became docent (Associate professor) at Karolinska Institutet in 2003.
Documents and links
Technical report 2003 (Hällström et al) of the PART study wave 1 and 2 (application/pdf, 274.92 KB)
International Consortium On Lithium Genetics (conli+gen), Amare AT, Schubert KO, Hou L, Clark SR, Papiol S, et al. Association of Polygenic Score for Schizophrenia and HLA Antigen and Inflammation Genes With Response to Lithium in Bipolar Affective Disorder: A Genome-Wide Association Study. JAMA psychiatry 2018;75(1):65-74
Kaldo V, Lundin A, Hallgren M, Kraepelien M, Strid C, Ekblom Ö, et al. Effects of internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy and physical exercise on sick leave and employment in primary care patients with depression: two subgroup analyses. Occupational and environmental medicine 2018;75(1):52-58
Melas PA, Guban P, Rahman MS, Lavebratt C, Forsell Y. Neuropeptide Y, stressful life events and personality trait conscientiousness: Preliminary associations from a Swedish longitudinal study. Psychiatry research 2018;263():48-53
Rahman MS, Millischer V, Zeebari Z, Forsell Y, Lavebratt C. BDNF Val66Met and childhood adversity on response to physical exercise and internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy in depressed Swedish adults. Journal of psychiatric research 2017;93():50-58
Persson N, Persson J, Lavebratt C, Fischer H. Effects of DARPP-32 Genetic Variation on Prefrontal Cortex Volume and Episodic Memory Performance. Frontiers in neuroscience 2017;11():244
Hukic D, Ösby U, Olsson E, Hilding A, Östenson CG, Gu HF, et al. Genetic variants of increased waist circumference in psychosis. Psychiatric genetics 2017;27(6):210-218
Persson N, Lavebratt C, Ebner NC, Fischer H. Influence of DARPP-32 genetic variation on BOLD activation to happy faces. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience 2017;12(10):1658-1667
Lavebratt C, Herring MP, Liu JJ, Wei YB, Bossoli D, Hallgren M, et al. Interleukin-6 and depressive symptom severity in response to physical exercise. Psychiatry research 2017;252():270-276
Kumar P, Millischer V, Villaescusa JC, Nilsson IAK, Östenson CG, Schalling M, et al. Plasma GDF15 level is elevated in psychosis and inversely correlated with severity. Scientific reports 2017;7(1):7906
Liu JJ, Wei YB, Forsell Y, Lavebratt C. Stress, depressive status and telomere length: Does social interaction and coping strategy play a mediating role? Journal of affective disorders 2017;222():138-145